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Jaydee

How does AC stay in business??

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I have been trying for over 90 minutes to call AC about a confirmed flight booking more than 72 hours from now. I tried every Sales # I could find.
 

The recording from some VP states...(Coles notes version )...” Because of a new reservation system,, we are too busy to talk to you and BTW, cannot put you on hold either. Try the web or call us back another day...*click*

Its like its impossible to talk to a human being at AC. Rude and obnoxious doesn’t even begin to describe the message. It’s no wonder WJ is expanding left right and center.

Unbelievable!!!

Edited by Jaydee

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42 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

I have been trying for over 90 minutes to call AC about a confirmed flight booking more than 72 hours from now. I tried every Sales # I could find.
 

The recording from some VP states...(Coles notes version )...” Because of a new reservation system,, we are too busy to talk to you and BTW, cannot put you on hold either. Try the web or call us back another day...*click*

Its like its impossible to talk to a human being at AC. Rude and obnoxious doesn’t even begin to describe the message. It’s no wonder WJ is expanding left right and center.

Unbelievable!!!

I just called 1-888-247-2262 and found the message etc. reasonable (esp since this is black friday). Curious though , why a need to talk about a confirmed flight rather than using the internet? Is it also a problem? I see that AC Vacations site is not working though.  

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1 hour ago, Marshall said:

I just called 1-888-247-2262 and found the message etc. reasonable (esp since this is black friday). Curious though , why a need to talk about a confirmed flight rather than using the internet? Is it also a problem? I see that AC Vacations site is not working though.  

I always use the internet if at all possible but Unfortunately this time I have to talk to a human about a booking. Web site won’t do.

Why should Black Friday even enter into the equation ?

Edited by Jaydee

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7 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

I always use the internet if at all possible but Unfortunately this time I have to talk to a human about a booking. Web site won’t do.

Why should Black Friday even enter into the equation ?

Most booking sites, sales sites are overloaded today.  I do however see that WestJet is only expecting a 20 min wait at the moment and is offering call backs. AirCanada does offer a callback but not sure if that feature is working https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/fly/customer-support.html image.png.023bcca5dcfb37e453ee10c398a5c965.png

Re retail sites, evidently Costco crashed today (it was extremely slow yesterday). 

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An update....
 

???????. Airline of the year   ????????

Sure doesn’t say a lot about the competition. 
 

I literally just finished up with an agent.  (It was a change that could not be done on-line as it required human input to complete....this was also a full fare ticket I had purchased.)
 

New system = progress ??   I beg to differ.

 

At least the opening message today didn’t give me the middle finger and hang up on a potential customer basically saying ....up yours...your business is not important....we don’t want to talk to you.....Bye Bye...clink !!

Today at least they answered...more or less..

It took 1 hr 48 minutes on hold for someone to finally answer, then another 1 hr 03 mins to process a flight change using the “new” res system.It was quite obvious that none to very little Time and money had been spent on training staff as my agent was doing the best she could but it was very apparent she was learning on the go.  Using my example, with breaks etc, she MIGHT deal with 6 people in an 8 hour shift. I tip my hat to her for maintaining her cool as I would expect she gets a few nasty replies from people with all these delays.

I wonder how many clients switched to WJ forever this past week simply out of total frustration.

Edited by Jaydee

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Quote

I wonder how many clients switched to WJ forever this past week simply out of total frustration.

Well, we'll remember your comments if and when Westjet decides to upgrade their RES system....last time (12 years ago) AiRes was a total failure and shelved with a $30 million write-down.

 

 

Edited by anonymous

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The New Reservation system at AC is also in Use by many other carriers.  It is a proven system which is FAR better than the old system.

I seem to remember Westjet having teething problems when they switched systems.  2 days I believe it was with major issues.

It is not an easy task to migrate all data from one system to another then take down the old and bring up the new without having some unforseen issues.  We are talking hundreds of millions of records being dealt with.

If you think you can do better then by all means pass me your resume I have a job for you for life.

 

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I wonder if RES-2 is still running?

The reservations system is not the problem but the problem is does anybody know all of the links to other systems.  That is why I ask about Res-2.  For years Air Canada did not want to turn it off because they were not sure what other systems were depending upon it information.  

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From what I experienced, the new system (from Lufthansa) is totally incompatible with the old. She couldn’t even import one file from one into the other as she was constantly switching back and forth for data.

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22 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

From what I experienced, the new system (from Lufthansa) is totally incompatible with the old. She couldn’t even import one file from one into the other as she was constantly switching back and forth for data.

change is good but sometimes difficult. Give them a chance they are still the best airline in Canada and indeed in North America. Mind you I have traveled on both AC and WJA  but I do favour AC because of their policy re Blind passengers which revolves around a CNIB card vs the more onerous policy of WestJet.  As a full revenue passenger, my wife and I travel whenever possible on AC mainly because of their policy and their demonstrated superior handling. Yes we have also tried WestJet but IMO the check in staff , the medical desk and most importantly the FAs , the AC folks rule when it comes to dealing with "vision impaired passengers". 

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12 hours ago, Jaydee said:

It took 1 hr 48 minutes on hold for someone to finally answer, then another 1 hr 03 mins to process a flight change using the “new” res system.It was quite obvious that none to very little Time and money had been spent on training staff as my agent was doing the best she could but it was very apparent she was learning on the go.  Using my example, with breaks etc, she MIGHT deal with 6 people in an 8 hour shift. I tip my hat to her for maintaining her cool as I would expect she gets a few nasty replies from people with all these delays.

I wonder how many clients switched to WJ forever this past week simply out of total frustration.

Get one of these (see picture) and your wait time will be considerably less. And they’ll drive you from security to the departure gates in a shiny BMW 7 series. ?

C3DE7EC4-0C8B-44A3-AB64-EB259C37C312.jpeg

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.

Air Canada hit with outpouring of customer complaints over problems with new reservation system

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the regulator spoke with Air Canada about the complaints ahead of the busy Christmas travel season

Tue Dec 10, 2019 - Reuters

OTTAWA/MONTREAL — Canada’s Transport Minister on Tuesday urged the country’s largest carrier to resolve problems with its new reservation system, which have sparked an outpouring of complaints on social media.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the regulator spoke with Air Canada about complaints of service delays due to changes with the reservation system ahead of the busy Christmas travel season.

“They (Air Canada) are very aware we are getting a lot of calls about this,” Garneau told reporters in Ottawa.

“I hope Air Canada can resolve its problem.”

Customers took to Twitter to complain about changes to the carrier’s booking system that resulted in delays.

Montreal-based Air Canada said in a statement that it is undergoing “temporary issues” after replacing its aging booking system. The carrier said there have been some cases of customers encountering “technical issues and longer wait times” as the carrier’s agents adapt to the new reservation system.

“Call volumes and hold times are temporarily above normal and we have been working to address this,” it said.

The carrier added that “the number of customers affected is relatively small in terms of Air Canada’s regular, overall activity and the new system is functioning largely as expected.”

“Since Nov. 19 we have carried approximately 2.5 million customers, typical for this time of year,” Air Canada said.

Garneau said there was nothing the government could do to fix the situation, and said it was his understanding that in certain cases people had filed complaints with Transport Canada.

“Air Canada is aware that many Canadians, especially at this time of the year, are disappointed with the situation.”

.

 

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Whew!!! Thank god garneau got involved.....Air Canada would have never known there was a problem ...... I’m sure the co. would have let this continue for years......thanks Captain Obvious .... btw has the governments fixed the Phoenix pay system yet??? It’s only been 5 years...

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5 hours ago, st27 said:

Whew!!! Thank god garneau got involved.....Air Canada would have never known there was a problem ...... I’m sure the co. would have let this continue for years......thanks Captain Obvious .... btw has the governments fixed the Phoenix pay system yet??? It’s only been 5 years...

FWIW, Phoenix was a problem as far back as 2013. The head of the new Shared Services department tried very hard to convince the government that it wasn't ready and would be an unmitigated disaster, but TBS insisted it proceed as scheduled.

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Inadequate training on new Air Canada booking system causing customer service backlog: sources

Matthew LapierreDigital reporter, CTV News Montreal

@mattlapi Contact

Published Friday, December 13, 2019 1:25PM ESTLast Updated Friday, December 13, 2019 1:41PM EST

Angry passengers have taken to social media in droves to complain of their inability to reach Air Canada to discuss their bookings.

 

MONTREAL -- Customer service representatives at Air Canada were inadequately trained on a new digital booking system, and their lack of training has contributed to a backlog in customer service calls, sources inside Air Canada told CTV News.

The sources, who have direct knowledge of the system and work with employees who use it daily, said that customer service representatives received only one week of training to use the new system, and that training was not specific enough to use the system effectively.

The new booking system is more modern than the previous system, which was 25 years old, Air Canada says.

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But a source said it is distinctly different from what was used before and is more time-consuming, leading to delays in customer dealings.

In the days following its implementation, customer service representatives were stressed and anxious coming to work, one source said.

Frustrated passengers were often on hold for hours before reaching a customer service representative, and booking problems have been more challenging and have taken longer to resolve, the source added.

Fewer calls from passengers are processed every hour, another source said.

Angry passengers have taken to social media in droves to complain of their inability to reach Air Canada to discuss their bookings.

 

I have been on the phone with @aircanada for OVER THREE HOURS NOW just to cancel a flight. I have never experienced worse customer service in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
 
 
 

Hey! @AirCanada It’s beyond ridiculous that I’ve been on hold for 2 hours with your helpline. Get it together!

 
 
 
 

As the holiday season - one of the busiest times of the year for air travel - approaches, the sources fear the problems will get worse.

CTV News is not revealing the identities of the sources because they were not authorized to speak to the press; they also feared repercussions from the company.

Recently, Air Canada’s customer service line stopped putting callers on hold. Instead, an automated message greets callers. CTV News recently called and could not get through to a representative.

“Air Canada has recently introduced a new reservation system, and call volumes are significantly higher than normal. Due to current volumes, I apologize that we are unable to place you on hold at this time,” the message said. “… I sincerely apologize for the delay in reaching us today, and I thank you for your understanding.”

The message was repeated in French and looped.

In a statement sent to CTV News, Air Canada admitted that customers were encountering technical difficulties as a result of the new system.

“This has been a massive, two-year project involving 700,000 hours of development time. Since the beginning, we have had a considerable team of in-house IT experts and international reservation system professionals dedicated to this project, and they remain engaged. As with any IT project of this magnitude and complexity, some temporary issues are inevitable,” the statement reads.

The airline transitioned to the new IT system on Nov. 18. “It will bring many advantages for customers' travel agents and our employees once fully in place,” the airline told CTV News this week. “For example, we will be able to better help customers during storm disruptions and work much more easily with our main airline partners around the world, creating a better travel experience.”

The company said it had hired staff in an attempt to reduce passenger call backlogs, but they added that the number of customers affected is relatively small.

“The new system is functioning largely as expected,” they wrote.

But some passengers have said the migration to the new system has made it more difficult to use and even changed their reservation information.

When questioned about the difficulties faced by their customer service representatives, the company added: “We thank our employees for their dedication and professionalism in serving our customers.”

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47 minutes ago, Fido said:

It sounds like the union is throwing the company under the bus again.

Or has the company thrown its employees under the bus by not training them adequately to use the new system?

It depends on one's perspective.

 

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Back in the day, we were changing to Pegasus (1982)   switching from a manual system to a computerized mode.  It was a very strange and unknown world for all involved. Training was done (1 week only) at our stations around the world. The staff were provided with a prompt book . Some experts were based in certain locations to provide help when the agent could not overcome a difficulty  The system itself was not  fill in the blanks, it was driven by very long data inputs.  eg.

RTA42948719121/$/F100.00/X8.00CA/T108.00   (SIMPLE TICKET PAYMENT ENTRY  ? ) 

There were hiccups but the staff worked on.  Following is a sample of the data input strings the agents had to memorize and input.  

prompt.thumb.jpg.75fb821f11599cb9a6f7b56f66c93202.jpg

 

In the cargo world when we brought up our C4 system, it too was reliant on the correct entry of data strings. Again it was completely foreign to those using it but the training was again only 1 week.

 

I understand the present AC systems rely upon switching to the right screen and then filling the blanks (not long strings of data)  , so sitting on the outside looking in, I am therefore surprised to hear that a week of training was not adequate.

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In 1982 there were no codeshares, no FFPs, no electronic tickets to synch with other airline systems, no ancillary purchases in PNRs, and I believe that CP Air still allocated seats with stickies at the gate.

Today's DCS at AC is fill in the blanks.  When a PNR didn't migrate properly from RES III to Amadeus and/or when Amadeus hasn't sent the info through to DCS correctly and when the agent dealing with a customer has had no Amadeus training things get messy.

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Not quite right FA@AC.  No codeshares but def. bookings on other carriers had to be made / entered.  (called interline).  Special handling, meals , hotels and the list went on.  As far as stickies, I think those went out in the 70s but I was not in the passenger end of the operation.  My main point was in 2019 most if not all staff are computer savvy, entries are now fill in the blanks and that was def. not the case in the 80s so it is very interesting that one week of training was not sufficient. I would be taking a close look at the quality/content of the training rather then the amount of time allotted for the training. However no matter what, it is def. interesting times for the passengers and the staff. 

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